The specs of 2019's top wireless earbuds, compared

Suddenly, there are a lot of wireless earbuds to choose from.
Written by Jason Cipriani, Contributing Writer

When Apple announced the AirPods in 2016, there wasn't much competition for the completely wireless earbuds. As we near the end of 2019, there's plenty of competition from some of the biggest names in tech. Just in the past few months, we've seen announcements from Amazon, Google, Microsoft, and, earlier this year, Samsung.

Most recently, Apple announced the AirPods Pro, matching a lot of features you'll find in its newfound competitors' offerings.

Here's a simple chart that breaks down the main features you can expect to find in this year's crop of wireless earbuds:

AirPods Pro Echo Buds Galaxy BudsSurface EarbudsPixel Buds 2
Availability Shipping now Shipping now Shipping now TBD Q2 2020
Active Noise Cancellation Yes Yes No Yes Yes
Dedicated Ambient Mode Yes No Yes No No
Charging Wireless charging, Lightning connector MicroUSB Wireless charging, USB-C Wireless charging, USB-C Wireless charging, USB-C
Battery life 5 hours 5 hours 6 hours 8 hours 5 hours
Battery life with case 24 hours 20 hours 7 hours 24 hours 24 hours
Water/Sweat rating IPX4 IPX4 IPX2 IPX4 IPX4
Personal Assistant Siri Alexa, Siri, Google Assistant Google Assistant, Siri Cortana, Google Assistant, Siri Google Assistant

I didn't include the second-generation AirPods, but Apple is still selling those for $159 or $199, depending on whether you want a wireless charging case or not.

There's a lot of feature parity across the board here, but if you're an iPhone user, your decision comes down to which version of AirPods you want to spend money on. The way Apple can integrate AirPods with iOS is unmatched by anything else available, and arguably worth any added cost that AirPods carry.

I haven't had a chance to test Amazon's Echo Buds but found the Galaxy Buds to offer a solid listening experience. We're still waiting for an official launch date for Microsoft's Surface Earbuds, and Google's new Pixel Buds won't ship until the second quarter of 2020.

In the video at the top of this post, Jason Squared's co-host, Jason Perlow, and I dive into more details and thoughts about all of the options we now have, including a dark horse company that's making some high-quality audio products, according to Perlow.

These 7 top wireless earbuds deliver scarily superb sound

What do you think about the abundance of wireless earbuds we now have? Are you waiting for some of the unreleased products, or springing for AirPods Pro?

Editorial standards